In 1999, Tzu Chi volunteers around Malaysia walked the streets seeking donation for the victims of the earthquake that took place in Turkey and Taiwan. Volunteers from Kota Kinabalu Liaison Office also drove three hours to Tenom, a small town in Sabah to raise fund for this purpose. This was how Tzu Chi sowed seeds of love and kindness in the town of Tenom.

After the fundraising event, some Tzu Chi volunteers who travelled frequently for business between Tenom and Kota Kinabalu, brought some Tzu Chi Magazines and books to Tenom. In early 2000, and on the invitation of the Tenom Buddhist Society, brothers and sisters of Kota Kinabalu Liaison Office organised a small tea reception to introduce Tzu Chi to Tenom.

At that time, the living standard and education of many residents of Tenom was quite poor. As such, many were living in poverty and required care and assistance from society. After acquiring this information, Tzu Chi volunteers from Kota Kinbalu decided to pay regular home visits to Tenom. These activities attracted some residents in Tenom to become Tzu Chi volunteers.

In September 2000, and with the help of Tenom residents, Sister Li Li Hua, Brother Huang Jing Yuan and some others attended the volunteer training organised by Kota Kinabalu because they were very touched by Tzu Chi’s spirit of Great Love. After the training, these volunteers decided to form a Tzu Chi contact point in Tenom so that they can start to help others.

After returning to Tenom, the brothers and sisters immediately dedicated their time in carrying out Tzu Chi’s missions and at the same time, organised training and fellowship for volunteers. They hope to nurture a group of Bodhisattva in Tenom.

Brother Aw Yong Kee Kong, Brother Li Ji Zhuan and others from Kota Kinabalu, always travelled from Kota Kinabalu to help and assist volunteers in Tenom. After they realised that a group of local volunteers would like to take on more responsibilities, they decided to set up a contact point in Tenom following a visit by Tzu Chi Melaka CEO, David Liu, in February.

At the same time, Sister Li Li Hua offered to take up the responsibility as a liaison person for Tenom, and to guide the local volunteers in promoting Tzu Chi’s missions. After seeing that the Tenom volunteers have attained maturity, Tzu Chi Melaka Branch decided to seek approval from Master Cheng Yen for Tenom to become a liaison point. On 15 March 2003, Tenom officially became a Tzu Chi contact point. And on 1st February 2006, it was upgraded to a Liaison Office.

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Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia (Tenom)

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